Barcelona full-back Dani Alves is prepared to sacrifice aesthetics for results if it means snatching a crucial away win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
The reigning European champions travel to north London for the first leg of their round-of-16 Champions League clash with the Premier League giants.
While Alves and his Barcelona team-mates have an exemplary record against Arsenal in recent years, he would have no issues turning the game between two sides who win plaudits for their stylish football into a scrap.
“The aim is always to win and play really well but there’s the opposition to think about, high expectations, then there’s better teams, teams that try to play or teams that are more physical, so for us to come out of another game with a win, we just keep going,” Alves told the Daily Mirror.
“Sometimes suffering, having to hold on to a result, stops you relaxing and helps you get there because if you want to achieve great things then you have to come through difficulties.
“It’s always beautiful to play spectacular football but it’s more beautiful to keep winning.”
Barcelona did just that in their most recent La Liga triumph, a scrappy 2-1 win over Las Palmas, and recall Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets.
Luis Enrique’s men are on a 32-game unbeaten run, having taken 26 wins in the same period, and Alves is keen to keep that run going despite a heavy schedule.
“The team is always going to put all their effort into it, but sometimes things don’t go well or how you’d hoped but this is football,” he said.
“Even if you don’t play at your best you’ve got to pick up results and that’s six points from six, no?”
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